I'm sitting here looking at my new Palette stack http://www.paletteamps.com/. It's beautiful to look at... a rich see-through red finish on ash. The deep red of the wood is accentuated by the gold anodized grill and logo plate gleaming in the lamp light. On the head, behind the aforementioned grill, a matched pair of NOS RCA 6L6s gleam happily. The carefully cut Palette "P" is perfectly framed. The audio points give it an almost otherworldly look. All of this is wonderful, but as the old addage says, beauty is only skin deep... what makes this amp special? I first met Robert Wakeling (Owner/Engineer of Palette Amps) at the Dallas International Guitar Festival in April of 2005. Cruising through the booths, I almost walked right by thinking it was just another pretty face with the same old boutique amp workings, just a copy of a tried and true classic amplifier with slightly upgraded components. Luckily, someone played a single note that could be heard above the din of wailing rockers. I stopped dead in my tracks to see what made that incredible sound. There sat that little pretty thing with the big pricetag. I walked over and talked to the man standing at the back of the booth. I had to know what he was doing to get that tone. He explained to me some of the things he did different that other boutique (not to mention mass produced) manufacturers don't even consider. As a luthier and technician I pay keen attention to the physics of the intruments and eschew mojo in favor of what works on paper and in the studio/on the stage. Some of the things he said were so obvious, but had never been done. I'll let you talk to him for those, ingenious little tweaks and tricks so that I don't give away any secrets. Let's just say I was sold, and I'm a HARD sale. The sound itself is something to behold... or beheard? A clean tone is a good thing, but there's good clean tone and bad clean tone. This thing makes a Roland JC120 sound like a Peavey Rage... seriously... it's that amazing. Shortly after the show, I was in a Guitar Center and played a Mesa Lonestar. I work my own hours, so i was able to get in when there weren't a bunch of kids banging away on Epiphones and Marshalls. I cranked up the amp that used to get high marks for clean tone sounded dull and boring... what has happened? Now I'm completely jaded... I was going to have to settle on my Fender Twin for lack of the money needed to buy one of these amazing amps. What about the driven tone though? The Palette remarkably left nothing to be wanted. Metal heads might be a bit disappointed, but they have their pedals to keep them happy (you have to have something good to start with afterall). As for me and a majority of the guitar playing public, the Palette leaves nothing to be desired... NOTHING. It screams with all the balls of a rabid dog. Driven through the ceramic 15" speaker, the amp was perfect for blues, classic rock, or even hard rock. The lower frequencies are accurately represented; deep and full. The highs are present up to the highest frequency in full. Nothing is left out. With the amplifier turned about halfway up, sitting on the couch accross the room, I can LITERALLY FEEL THE ATTACK. It's an actual wave of sound! You can feel the wall of sound literally hit you in the face. It sounds crazy, but it's something that has to be felt to believe. It is a physical thing. It's not that loud, the attack is just that pronounced... it's indescribable. I've sold all of my amplifiers and will never need to buy another. This is the end all of pure tone. Every serious guitarist owes it to themselves to go play one of these amplifiers in a nice quiet room so that they can hear this magnificent peice of art and engineering.